Victorian Ombudsman slams Labor government for failed ICT projects

The Victorian Ombudsman has lambasted the former Labor government for causing major ICT project management issues, with a relaxed approach and inconsistent staff training causing many projects to fail.

In his joint report with the state Auditor General, Victorian Ombusman George Brouwer said state technology projects have made media headlines for all the wrong reasons.

“There have been a number of high profile cost and time blow-outs in ICT and both the Auditor General and I have tabled reports in Parliament that relate to ICT-enabled projects,” Brouwer said in the report.

“These reports have included numerous recommendations for the better management of ICT-enabled projects.”

Making reference to the Baillieu government’s failed MyKi public transport ticketing system and HealthSMART e-health initiative, Brouwer said the former Labor government’s track record for successful IT deployments has been abysmal.

“There has also been wide media coverage over recent years of other government ICT-enabled projects, such as the new public transport ticketing system MyKi and HealthSMART, hich have been criticised for not meeting budget and delivery deadlines and failing to meet expectations,” he said.

“The costs of these systems are significant and have spiralled to levels well beyond those estimated at the commencement of each project.”

Claiming that Victorian taxpayers have been slugged an extra $1.44 billion because of ICT mistakes, Brouwer said the government must comply with industry norms if it is undertake successful ICT projects in the future.

“It is also important in this constantly evolving and changing industry that these principles are regularly reviewed to ensure their ongoing relevance and usefulness,” he said.

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